You could have decided to buy a digital piano as opposed to an acoustic piano for many reasons, including availability of multiple tones, headphone playing capability, lower price, etc. But prior to getting one, be sure you like the feel of the keyboard action. This is how the keys feel when being played. It all concerns what type of weighted keys the keyboard uses.
If you wish the feel of the acoustic piano, you will need a weighted keyboard. Many digital pianos will emulate the feel of digitale piano by utilizing keyboard weighted keys. They are able to do this in multiple ways. Before we take a look at a few of the different keyboard weighted types, let’s get a quick understanding of how an acoustic piano gets its “feel”
An acoustic piano utilizes a hammer striking mechanism. When you press the keyboard keys it presses a lever. The lever results in a hammer to strike the strings. The hammer then bounces from the string. The real key returns for the resting position from the weight in the hammer and levers. It’s very natural feeling with no springs. It simply uses the weight in the hammer as well as the momentum from bouncing off the string.
This kind of feel is what digital pianos attempt to recreate. So let’s look at the three varieties of keyboard actions.
Non-weighted keys are incredibly light feeling. These are what organs and synthesizers use. Obviously, they do not possess the heavy, weighted feel that you get from an acoustic piano. Since there is little weight and no hammers using momentum from bouncing off a string, these non-weighted keyboards must use springs to create the keys returning to the resting position. The upside to this particular would be that the keys are simpler to press allowing quick movement on the keyboard. The down-side is that this feels nothing as an acoustic piano. Also, when keys so easily press down it is actually easier for the finger to barely graze a key that you had no intention of playing, making a noticeable mistake inside your performance.
These keys possess a weight in them to provide them some substance. The load means they are harder to press down, much like you’d expect on an acoustic piano. They are offered near to feeling like an acoustic piano. However, they do not have any type of hammer mechanism in them, so in this aspect they will not feel like an acoustic piano. The good news is that to get a cheaper price this sort of weighted keyboard comes near to approximating the feel of the acoustic piano. The negative news is that you will almost always be lacking that “momentum” feel on the keys of the acoustic if the momentum of the hammer bouncing from the string plays a part in bringing the keys back to a resting position.
Weighted Hammer Action Keys
These kinds of weighted keys come the nearest to emulating the feel of portable electric piano. Keyboards using this feature make use of a hammer simulating mechanism to give you the feel of a moving hammer. Some digital pianos even use actual hammers, not simply a simulating mechanism. The large one you think of is Kawai’s AHAIV keyboard action. Using these weighted keys you not only obtain the weight and resistance on the keys, however, you get the feel of a hammer’s momentum. Both features you obtain upon an acoustic piano keyboard.
Other Keyboard Descriptions
Before you buy an electronic piano, you will find other phrases that describe the keyboard action. The most typical you might be Weighted Scaled Hammer Action. What exactly does the phrase “Scaled” mean? It indicates that qqkxic keys emulate the feel of your acoustic grand piano because they are heavier on the lower notes and lighter on the higher notes.
Upon an acoustic grand piano, the reduced notes certainly are a little harder to press compared to the higher notes. In order to emulate that feel, digital piano manufacturers can make their lower notes heavier. Other phrases you will notice that describe this same task are “Graded Hammer Action” and “Progressive Hammer Action.” Also, search for the phrase “weight gradation” to indicate keys are heavier inside the budget and lighter in the high end.
Each manufacturer of digital pianos seeks to create their keyboard feel as near with an acoustic piano as possible. They will likely each get it done in a different way based on their technologies and patents. Every piano player could have their opinion about which digital piano feels “the best.” If you wish the feel of the acoustic piano you now know to narrow your list of weighted digital piano to people with weighted hammer action. But the best way to find out if you like the feel of any particular digital piano is always to listen to it.